Raised in Texas, with family roots in country-swing and gospel, Toby Twining has traveled musically from playing for rock and jazz bands to composing and performing experimental music for voices with a fresh approach to harmony. He moved to New York in 1987, initially writing for modern dance choreographers who wanted the sounds of a new choral music. In 1991 he started Toby Twining Music, which performed in music halls and festivals across the United States and Europe. His recordings include Shaman (SONY, 1994), The Little Match Girl and Emily Dickinson’s Birthday Pizza on A Prairie Home Companion 20th Anniversary Album (Highbridge, 1996), Chrysalid Requiem and Eurydice (Cantaloupe Music 2002 and 2011). Twining’s instrumental music has been recorded by pianist Margaret Leng Tan and cellist Matt Haimovitz. He was a 2003 Pew Fellow, co-founder of Arts on the Edge Wolfeboro, and is a 2011 Guggenheim recipient.
“If a voice can do it, Toby Twining does it. He and his singers manage to combine a mind-boggling assortment of vocal techniques from around the world, all in pursuit of the gracious, the beautiful and the emotionally direct.” —David Lang, Pulitzer Prize-winning composer and co-founder of Bang on a Can.
“Toby’s music for Eurydice verged on the sublime. His music is original, ethereal, and wonderfully weird in the Shakespearean sense….he is a fabulist, an original, a composer for all ages.” —Sarah Ruhl, playwright